Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Overheard (October 2018)

Vol. 35 No. 8 October 2018

Separation of church and state is among the most brilliant and crucial founding principles of this nation. . . . In fact, few things are more dangerous to both religious and secular rights than to pit the two against each other.

Newspaper editorial, “Breaching the wall between church and state,” calling out Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general, the state’s Republican Senate nominee and a former constitutional law professor, for wanting to overturn the Johnson Amendment.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8-28-18


“[Roncalli] should not be rewarded with state dollars if they choose to discriminate against employees simply based on who they love. The actions of Roncalli High School have unfolded in a manner that is contrary to the ideals I learned during my time there.

Indiana state Rep. Dan Forestal, in a statement about the Catholic high school that suspended a counselor after learning of her same-sex marriage. Forestal wants to introduce legislation that would block public money supporting Indiana’s school voucher program from being used at schools that discriminate against employees because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

WTHR-13 (Indianapolis), 8-15-18


I don’t even believe in God, but I’m going to thank her tonight.

Thandie Newton, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of sentient robot Maeve Millay on HBO’s “Westworld.”

CBS, 9-17-18


I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the forthcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, asking the pope to cancel a bishop’s conference focusing on youth in the wake of the Catholic child sex abuse crisis.

USA Today, 9-3-18


They felt it was inappropriate to have “In God We Trust” on the school. The teachers were really upset about it. . . . I just don’t think anyone’s offended when they see a state seal.

Palm Beach County School Board member Karen Brill, after the board decided to replace the “In God We Trust” signs with the state seal, which does include the phrase. A new Florida law requires all public schools to post the phrase “In God We Trust” in a “conspicuous place” on campus.

My Palm Beach Post, 9-5-18


My mother is not watching. She says she doesn’t like watching white award shows because you guys don’t thank Jesus enough. That’s true. The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.

Michael Che, co-hosting the Emmys.

CBS, 9-17-18


My father, the songwriter and producer Richard Rudolph, came from a family that was agnostic Jewish, because my grandfather didn’t like being told what to do. I remember my mom not even saying “God bless you,” She’d say, “Guhbless you,” because she didn’t want us to say “God.”

Actress, comedian Maya Rudolph, talking about how her family was committedly nonreligious.

New York Times Magazine, 9-15-18


I was quite keen on Jesus and toyed with Christianity in my teens. I went to bible classes with the vicar who lived next door, and I remember saying: “My uncle is a homosexual, would he be allowed into heaven?” The vicar paused, and at that moment I knew I was done with religion.

Emma Thompson, actor, in an interview with Michael Segalov of The Guardian.

The Guardian, 8-25-18


I can’t even explain how I am feeling right now. The long battle has been won. Finally we have been recognized by this country.

Bismaya Kumar Raula, after India’s top court decriminalized gay sex.

CNN, 9-6-18